And the first model may be a low-volume sports car.
Dyson—the manufacturer of vacuums that don’t suck (because they do) and fans that don’t blow (because they do)—has toiled away at its electric car project since 2015. Since those initial rumblings surfaced, details about the project have been scarce, limited to the company’s acquisitions of a battery-technology company and executive-level automotive talent from Aston Martin. Now, in an in-depth take from Financial Times, Dyson’s ambitions have come to light.
The company’s initial plan reportedly includes “a range of three vehicles,” the first of which will be a low-production model arriving by 2020. According to the report, which interviewed over 20 people familiar with the company’s secretive plans, the privately owned Dyson has earmarked £2.0 billion ($2.8 billion) for its new automotive venture. Its first vehicle “will be used to establish a route to market, a supply chain and a potential customer base,” said FT. Production of that model will be extremely limited not unlike Tesla’s first Roadster, hinting it could be a similar halo-type vehicle to generate initial hype. The latter two models will be manufactured in larger volumes, reported FT.
Thanks to Dyson’s background in consumer electronics and appliances, the first vehicle is rumored to be “substantially comprised of plastics,” which will keep weight low and remove certain design restrictions associated with working with metals. However, Dyson’s rumored solid-state battery technology—which the company further developed after initially acquiring it though a $90-million purchase of battery startup Sakti3 in 2015—will not debut on the first model, sources told FT. As for where Dyson will build its cars, FT offered up a few possibilities. Two sites in Dyson’s home country, the United Kingdom, are reportedly being considered, though Singapore, Malaysia, and China are also likely candidates.
As the largest electric-vehicle market in the world, China would make sense for Dyson’s first manufacturing location, but the company already has manufacturing capacity in Singapore, making it the internal company favorite. The company’s namesake, James Dyson, last year confirmed its first car would arrive in 2020.